Wal mart and the glass ceiling investigating and proving gender discrimination
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Wal-Mart and The Glass Ceiling Investigating and Proving Gender Discrimination. February 2004. Wal-Mart Basics. Founded by Sam Walton Headquarters in Bentonville, AR Largest Retailer in the World Largest Private Employer in U.S. $244.6 billion in sales; $6 billion profit in 2003.

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Wal-Mart and The Glass Ceiling Investigating and Proving Gender Discrimination

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Wal-Mart and The Glass CeilingInvestigating and Proving Gender Discrimination

February 2004


Wal-Mart Basics

  • Founded by Sam Walton

  • Headquarters in Bentonville, AR

  • Largest Retailer in the World

  • Largest Private Employer in U.S.

  • $244.6 billion in sales; $6 billion profit in 2003


Wal-Mart Store Job Pyramid


Women in Wal-Mart Management Positions


Historical Comparison of Women in Management at Wal-Mart and Competitors


The Promotion ProcessGetting Into Management Training

  • No Posting of Openings

  • No Application

  • No Set Selection Criteria

  • No Information on Management Jobs or Qualifications

  • “Tap on the Shoulder”


Were Women as a Group Less Qualified for Management ?

  • No education requirement

  • No prior experience required

  • Higher Average Performance Ratings


What the Women Told Us About Promotion. ..

  • No Information About How to Apply

  • Shifting Requirements and Excuses

  • Relocation Requirement – Real or A Pretext?

  • Sexist Attitudes


Rhonda Harper, former VP Marketing Sam’s Club


Jim Haworth, former Exec. VP Operations Wal-Mart


Gender-BasedPay Disparities

Average Annual Earnings **

In 2001

*Full-time

**Including bonuses

Data: Richard Drogin


Wal-Mart’s Side of the Story

  • No Uniform National Practice

  • Women Not Interested in Management Positions

    • Long and Unpredictable Hours

  • Pay Differences are Very Small

  • Have Made Efforts to Improve Diversity

  • Women Are Happy at Wal-Mart

  • Case is Just Too Big


Every Store Looks and Operates Identically

Same Jobs and Job Hierarchy

Wal-Mart Cheer at Daily Store Meetings

Wal-Mart Culture – 3 Basic Beliefs

All personnel policies from Bentonville

24/7 Real Time Electronic Connection

Weekly and Daily Reports and Store Visits

Heat and Music

Uniformity and Central Control


Was The Alleged Discrimination Intentional?

  • Internal Studies of Pay and Promotion Rates by Gender

  • Diversity Consultant

  • Benchmarking Against Competitors

  • Warnings from the Executive Vice President of Human Resources

  • Knew that Relocation Requirement Had An Adverse Impact on Women


Tom Coughlin, Exec. VP and CEO of Wal-Mart


Coleman Peterson, Exec. VP for People Division and Member of Board of Directors


Don Harris, Exec. Vice President, Operations


Stay Tuned

  • Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Northern District of California

  • Class Certification Motion Pending

  • www.walmartclass.com


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